Another Small Step Towards Normality

St Joseph’s takes another small step back towards normality with the reintroduction of Friday Mass.

Beginning this coming Friday, 12th March, public Mass returns to St Joseph’s at 12.05, do join us if you are able to.

It is only thanks to our wonderful volunteers and the commitment of Canon Michael that this extra Mass is possible.

Vandalism and Anti Social Activities at St Joseph’s

I am very sorry to say that anti social activity around St Joseph’s Church and Presbytery has been escalating over the last few weeks, with human excrement left on the church steps and the hall doors damaged by rocks being thrown at them in the latest episodes.

We need to consider strengthening the security around the perimeters in order to protect the Blessed Sacrament and Canon Michael. There will inevitably be a financial element to this, donations will be welcomed, perhaps fund raising activities could help as well.

If you have any suggestions or ideas please leave a comment below.

Spring?!

As the season turns from winter to spring many of us begin to think about ‘spring-cleaning’, sorting and rearranging our belongings, getting rid of the old and making way for the new. If this is you, please, before you visit the tip or a charity shop with your unwanted goods, consider holding onto them for a tad longer until we find out if we can hold a car-boot/table top sale in St Joseph’s carpark and hall.

The idea would be that each person with items to sell would “buy” a car-boot space for about £10 or a table top for £5, this money, plus the entrance fee of £1 per visitor, would go to the church, any profit made by the sellers would be theirs to keep or donate as they wished.

If this is something in which you would be interested please leave a comment at the end of the post. Watch this space for further information/updates.

Good News and Planning Ahead

Canon Michael has been called for his first vaccine against COVID.

Thinking ahead to Easter, we may need to have a booking system as we did at Christmas, it would be useful to have an idea of numbers prior to making the decision as to the need for this.

Mass would be said at St Wilfrid’s on Easter Morning, St Joseph’s would have a Vigil Mass on Easter Saturday night and a Latin Mass on Easter Sunday.

Please leave a comment below if you intend to come to one of the Easter Masses. Thank you.

Some Research!

Maintaining a useful, worthwhile Blog takes time, effort, and thought, but it is only of use if it fulfills its purpose and the purpose of this blog site was to reach out to people during the closure of our churches, to help keep you all informed and somewhat united.

As there are rarely any comments or ‘likes’ for posts and very few people ‘Following’ the site, one can’t help but wonder if it serves any real purpose? As an experiment it was completely deleted a few days ago and nobody seemed to notice!!

If you find this blog of any use whatsoever please leave a comment on this post, if there are no comments left then we will know that the site is redundant and it can safely be deleted.

A Return to ‘Normality’?

As vaccines are rolled out across the country and we hear that some of the most vulnerable within our parishes have been vaccinated, spirits are raised and we can begin to look forward to a return to some form of ‘normality’.

We do not yet know what that ‘normality’ will look like or when it will arrive, but we can hope and pray and begin to dream, if not plan, for the activities of Parish life to begin again.

There were several plans in the pipeline this time last year, all of which had to be abandoned due to the first lockdown, it is obviously far too early to say when or if these activities will take place, but it is worth remembering that as a parish family we shared many events and hopefully we will do so again.

Some events planned and postponed, not abandoned: – Garden Party, Flower Festival, Curry Night, Young Person’s Choir, Altar Servers Celebrations, Car-boot/Table-Top Sale, Quiz Night, Young Catholic’s Social Events. Those are some I remember off the top of my head, perhaps you can think of more? And perhaps many of you will have some ideas you would like considered? Please share your thoughts and let’s begin to dream big.

Do You know of Anyone in Need of ….

A parishioner from St Augustine’s has two settees and a chair looking for a new home, the items are about fifteen years old and show some wear and tear but are perfectly serviceable, they can be delivered to any address within the North East of England for free. If you know of anyone in need of these items please get in touch with Canon Brown as soon as possible. UPDATE 30/01/21 ITEMS HAVE GONE TO A GOOD HOME – THANK YOU

Help When Needed

Healthy Couple Relationships and support when they are not

All relationships have their ups and downs and sometimes a positive solution is hard to find. In these extraordinary days in which we experience lives of enforced isolation such difficulties may become enhanced and overriding. MarriageCare, a charity with which this Diocese collaborates on preparing engaged couples for marriage, provides a counselling service for couples or individuals experiencing difficulties in their relationship which one or both find challenging and problematic. You can access support through the MarriageCare website in the ‘How we help’ section, ‘Relationship counselling’. Full contact details are provided for further enquiries and venues, and include FAQ’s.

Domestic Abuse, Family Support and Support for Children in Domestic Abuse

MarriageCare also provides many useful links under the ‘How we help’ section; Relationship support organisations; Debt and Finance; Family support organisations; Domestic abuse – here there are many links under the ‘domestic violence help resources’ including support for women, men and children.

Still Open for Business

It is thanks to the volunteer cleaners and stewards, as well as Canon Michael, that our two churches remain open for public Mass during this second national lockdown.

The Bishop has left the decision, as to whether to remain open or not, entirely up to his Priests in the diocese and I am sorry to say that many have chosen to close their doors once again.

Obviously some have genuine health concerns or are particularly vulnerable due to their age, or they simply cannot remain open because they don’t have the dedicated helpers able to continue in roles of cleaning and stewarding.

However, I do hope none of our Priest’s feel under pressure to fall in line with the churches within their partnership which may have opted to close. It is so sad when during the first lockdown people were up in arms about churches remaining closed, and the Bishops of England and Wales fought to re-open them, yet here we are allowed to keep our churches open and yet so many are closing voluntarily!!

Scotland’s churches have been forced to close and ironically the Priests and Bishops there are threatening to take Nicola Sturgeon to court over the closures. It seems we all just want to fight about something, so we fight closures when they are imposed and we fight opening when that is allowed – ‘Mary Mary quite contrary’ comes to mind!!

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